Know Your Constitution: Part 1

The 1999 Constitution

SECTION 8 (1)

An Act of the National Assembly for the purpose of creating a new State shall only be passed if- 

(A new State can only be created if)

(a) a request, supported by at least two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding the creation of the new State) in each of the following, namely – 

(i) the Senate and the House of Representatives,

(ii) the House of Assembly in respect of the area, and

(iii) the local government councils in respect of the area,

is received by the National Assembly;

(a request for the State creation supported by at least 66% of the people in the area where the request comes from e.g.

The senatorial district and federal constituency;

the local constituency or constituencies that the new State will be carved from;  

the LGAs that will be involved in the creation of the new State;

is received in both arms of the National Assembly must receive the request) 

(b) a proposal for the creation of the State is thereafter approved in a referendum by at least two-thirds majority of the people of the area where the demand for creation of the State originated; 

(such a request can only be approved in a vote in the area concerned, with at least 66% of the people in the area where the request comes from (basically at least 66% of the people in the area must be in favour of a new State) voting in favour of it)

(c) the result of the referendum is then approved by a simple majority of all the States of the Federation supported by a simple majority of members of the Houses of Assembly; and 

(this positive referendum must be approved by at least 19 States of the Federation, as well as at least 51% of the members of the State Houses of Assembly)

(d) the proposal is approved by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of members of each House of the National Assembly. 

(this positive referendum must also be approved by a resolution passed by at least 66% of the members of both arms of the National Assembly. Then the new State can be created. Of course, this means that the boundaries must be adjusted accordingly)


SECTION 8(2)

An Act of the National Assembly for the purpose of boundary adjustment of any existing State shall only be passed if- 

(The boundaries of any State can only be adjusted if)

(a) a request for the boundary adjustment, supported by two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding and the area affected by the boundary adjustment) in each of the following, namely- 

(a request for the adjustment, supported by at least 66% of the people in the area where the request comes from e.g.)

(i) the Senate and the House of Representatives, 

(ii) the House of Assembly in respect of the area, and

(iii) the local government councils in respect of the area.

is received by the National Assembly; and

(the senatorial districts and federal constituencies that will be affected and

the State Houses of Assembly of the constituencies that will be affected 

as well as the LGAs that will be affected

that proposal must be submitted at both arms of the National Assembly)

(b) a proposal for the boundary adjustment is approved by –

(such a proposal shall be approved by)  

(i) a simple majority of members of each House of the National Assembly, and

(ii) a simple majority of members of the House of Assembly in respect of the area concerned.                                                                                                                                         

(51% of both arms of the National Assembly and

51% of the State Houses of Assembly of the proposed area)


SECTION 8(3)

A bill for a Law of a House of Assembly for the purpose of creating a new local government area shall only be passed if –                                                                            

(a new LGA can only be created when)

(a) a request supported by at least two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding the creation of the new local government area) in each of the following, namely

(a request from at least 66% of the people in the area concerned i.e.) 

(i) the House of Assembly in respect of the area, and

(ii) the local government councils in respect of the area,

is received by the House of Assembly;

(the Representative of the area and;  

the LGAs to be affected 

is received by the State House of Assembly) 

(b) a proposal for the creation of the local government area is thereafter approved in a referendum by at least two-thirds majority of the people of the local government area where the demand for the proposed local government area originated; 

(Such a proposal is only approved if a vote on it has taken place and such a vote must be with at least a 66% of the population in favour of it)

(c) the result of the referendum is then approved by a simple majority of the members in each local government council in a majority of all the local government councils in the State; and 

(the positive result of the vote is approved by at least 51% of each LGA in the State and in at least 51% of the LGAs in the State and)  

(d) the result of the referendum is approved by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of members of the House of Assembly. 

(the result is approved by 66% of the Representatives in the State)


SECTION 8(4)

A bill for a Law of House of Assembly for the purpose of boundary adjustment of any existing local government area shall only be passed if- 

(After a new LGA has been created, there is a necessary boundary adjustment, this can only be done if)

(a) a request for the boundary adjustment is supported by two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding and the area affected by the boundary adjustment) in each of the following, namely – 

(a request by at least 66% of the people asking for the new LGA and 66% of the people in the area to be affected i.e.)

(i) the House of Assembly in respect of the area, and 

(ii) the local government council in respect of the area,

is received by the House of Assembly; and 

(the Constituency and 

the LGA to be affected

is received by the House of Assembly)

(b) a proposal for the boundary adjustment is approved by a simple majority of members of the House of Assembly in respect of the area concerned. 

(Such a proposal is approved by 51% of the members of the House of Assembly of the State concerned.)


SECTION 8(5)

An Act of the National Assembly passed in accordance with this section shall make consequential provisions with respect to the names and headquarters of State or Local government areas as provided in section 3 of this Constitution and in Parts I and II of the First Schedule to this Constitution. 

(When a new State or LGA is created, the National Assembly shall amend the Constitution to reflect the new State or States and LGA or LGAs)


SECTION 8(6)

For the purpose of enabling the National Assembly to exercise the powers conferred upon it by subsection (5) of this section, each House of Assembly shall, after the creation of more local government areas pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, make adequate returns to each House of the National Assembly

(When a new LGA has been created, the House of Assembly of the concerned State must give the proper details to both arms of the National Assembly for the necessary constitutional adjustment.)

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